Hap TA tabs Shirazi to take over the reins

Despite having to leave Hapoel Haifa less than two months ago Nitzan Shirazi joins Hapoel Tel Aviv.

NITZAN SHIRAZI 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Despite having to leave Hapoel Haifa less than two months ago following a dismal start to the Premier League season, Nitzan Shirazi was handed the chance of a lifetime on Wednesday, joining Hapoel Tel Aviv as Dror Kashtan’s replacement.
Shirazi left Haifa after the team lost eight of its first 13 matches of the campaign, but Tel Aviv owner Eli Tabib offered the 40-year-old the job following Moshe Sinai’s refusal to take Kashtan’s place on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
Despite knowing that Tabib has already got other names in mind to take charge of his team for 2012/13, Shirazi decided to try and earn a contract extension in the four months remaining until the end of the season, telling the owner that he believes he can guide the Reds to the league championship.
Tel Aviv currently trails leader Ironi Kiryat Shmona by nine points after winning just one of its past six matches.
Shirazi’s assistant will be former Hapoel goalkeeper Shavit Elimelech.
Shirazi began his senior coaching career at Bnei Yehuda, guiding the side between 2003 and 2007, leading it to the State Cup final in the 2006/07 season.
After a short stint at Maccabi Petah Tikva, Shirazi spent a season-and-ahalf at Hapoel Haifa, but yet again he ended up resigning following disappointing results.
Ironically, Shirazi’s first match in charge of Tel Aviv will be at Hapoel Haifa next Monday.
Meanwhile, the draw for the State Cup round of 32 threw up five all- Premier League showdowns on Wednesday.
Maccabi Petah Tikva will host Bnei Sakhnin, Ashdod SC visits Hapoel Petah Tikva, Hapoel Beersheba welcomes Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Ramat Hasharon faces Hapoel Acre and Hapoel Haifa plays Kiryat Shmona.
In other ties: Betar Jerusalem visits Bnei Lod, Maccabi Tel Aviv goes to Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Maccabi Yavne and Maccabi Haifa travels to Maccabi Beersheba.